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Laura on Life

Jury Duty
By Laura Snyder
Jun 26, 2012 - 9:26:35 PM

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I love my country. I love democracy. I think it's great that, in America, you are innocent until proven guilty by a jury of your "peers."

According to Mr. Webster, a peer is defined as a person of equal standing, as in rank, class or age. In other words, someone very similar to the accused person.

Why then, was I, a 50-year old woman with no criminal record and a mile-long to-do list, called in to jury duty for a nineteen-year old boy accused of a dalliance with an under-aged girl?

Why didn't they call a bunch of nineteen-year old boys who had been accused of the same crime?

What in heaven's name made me a peer to this young man? I don't even own an iPod and I wouldn't know what to do with it if I did.

I have no idea how a nineteen year old boy thinks. Who would?... with the exception of another nineteen-year old boy.

I've had two nineteen-year old boys of my own living with me and I still don't know what in the world they were thinking!

Girls were certainly high on the list, though. I know this because the bathroom always smelled like Axe products when they were done in there.

I couldn't, by the most amazing stretch of imagination, be considered a "peer" for this young man. So what on earth was I doing there? And what were the other people who were my peers doing there? It's as if they simply chose our names at random!

Okay, so I knew that...

Put me on the case of a mom who was doing 60 in a 35 zone because her 3-year old had to potty and she forgot to put a Pull-up in her purse. That woman is my peer!

Show me a woman who was caught on the outside ledge of a high-rise because her kid threw his binky out there and he wouldn't stop screaming. Definitely a case of temporary insanity!

Seat me in a jury of other moms who could have been arrested as a "Peeping Tom" for peering in the windows of a preschool to make sure their child had stopped crying. Not guilty, I say! She had no choice!

Tell me of the case of a woman caught climbing a tree to break into a second story window while her children watched from a car at the curb. Been there, done that. Obviously, she locked herself and her kids out of the house!

These women are my peers. I can say, without a doubt, that I could deliver an informed verdict on these cases.

But a nineteen-year old boy with too much time on his hands? All I know for sure is that if he had been with my daughter, I would've removed his testicles. Other than that... I got nothing.

Laura Snyder is a nationally syndicated columnist, author & speaker. You can reach Laura at Or visit her website for more info.

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